I knew that coming back home would be good for me – a good reminder of what matters. It’s so easy to be caught up in our own little world that we forget about the bigger picture. The last several months I’ve cried “woe is me” on just about everything! I don’t discount my feelings – it was still “my reality”. It’s just that if we don’t seek to broaden our world and perspective – we never get to see that bigger picture.
The past year the USA has gone through a hard economic time. So many people lost jobs, everyone feels the pinch in their wallets, and the spending overall has slowed down. I think a lot of us Americans have been crying “woe is me”. The thing is…EVERY YEAR is hard economically on Haiti. Those that have jobs still aren’t making it.
The faith of the people here are tested daily. They’re not crying “woe is me” because they don’t have money to go to the movies this weekend. They’re not crying “woe is me” because they don’t have money to upgrade their car, or buy new clothes, or now they have to “eat in” instead of “going out” to restaurants. When they cry out – it’s because they don’t have ANY food for their children, their babies cry all night because they have no milk, or their children are dying because there’s no money for medicine. I want to share with you a conversation I had with one of our employees. I can’t stop thinking about it.
I’m going to call this lady Mary (but that’s not her name). Mary has been working at the mission for several years. She has a family and has been active in the church. She doesn’t make much money but she does what she can with what little she has. Her husband has a side-business where he sells drinks from their home. Things have been very slow though and no one has been buying the drinks. Mary doesn’t have the money for all her family to eat every day even though she and her husband both work. Each day she has to choose which children will eat and which ones will have to wait until tomorrow. She (herself) only takes a few bites – she knows she HAS to in order to have the strength to continue working.
Mary used to be in voodoo and became a Christian through the efforts of the Women’s Ministry group at the church across the street. She told me there was a time about a month ago where she didn’t have one gourde in her pocket. Her kids had already gone 2 days without eating and she was crying out to her Father in Heaven – where are You? Why have You left me? Feeling abandoned she began to think about her old life. Even though she knew in her heart that things were no better when she served Satan…perhaps he was punishing her. She contemplated going to the witch doctor to see if he could help her.
That evening her baby (who’d already gone 2 days without milk) cried in hunger – to the point she could no longer stand to be in her home. That night she began to make her way down the path to the witch doctor’s home. Tears were pouring down her cheeks and she felt completely alone. Afraid that someone might see her and word would get back to the mission – she walked past the witch doctor’s home but did not enter.
Trying to compose herself she went back to her house and was surprised to see a group of people standing there. Another church down the street was having a revival and they needed drinks. A pastor dressed in his Sunday clothes laid out $280 for 4 cases of coke. The lady fell to her knees before them and wept.
Mary talked with such intensity and humility that I began to cry with her as she told me her story. When I talk about my faith being tested….wow…doesn’t even compare to what people go through here daily. Talk about a reality check! I can only imagine her walk that night – the feelings and desperation she must have had. We honestly have no clue what our loved ones here go through.
Mary told me that she didn’t have one gourde in her pocket and now she had 1400 gourdes. That God had provided for her and loved her even though she was beginning to turn her back on Him. What grace God had bestowed on her!
When I feel as though God is not there – maybe I don’t run to the witch doctor but do I turn my back on Him just the same? Do I not doubt that HE will provide for my family? Do I not question the suffering I go through from time to time?
What a testimony Mary has. She shared her story with me because she felt like God was convicting her to. Her story has laid so much on my heart that I wanted to share it with you….maybe it will give you a reality-check like it did for me! It sure did broaden my world and bring things into perspective for me…..